The route for the Cape Town Marathon 2011, which takes place on Sunday 25 September during the Heritage Day weekend, has been created to celebrate the Mother City’s rich natural and cultural heritage.
The run starts in Adderley Street at 6.30am and passes many of Cape Town’s attractions and sites of significance including the Castle of Good Hope, Groote Schuur Hospital, the Astronomical Observatory, Rondebosch Common, the Salt River Market, the V&A Waterfront, the Green Point Lighthouse and the Cape Town Stadium.
James Evans, the president of Western Province Athletics, said the marathon was created with a specific vision which included showcasing Cape Town’s natural and cultural heritage.
“When the Cape Town Marathon was started in 2007 there was a lot of discussion about what we were trying to achieve. Various principles were set out: the standard of South African marathon running is weak, mostly because we do not have fast courses in South Africa. So the course design had to take that into account,” Evans said.
“But we also wanted to showcase Cape Town. It is internationally renowned for the mountain and the sea, so that influenced the course design with mountain and the sea providing a backdrop for most of the race. We also wanted to tie in with Heritage month and to highlight the heritage sites of Cape Town.”
The sites en-route which are of significance include:
- The Adderley Street flower sellers are a colourful Cape Town institution.
- Table Mountain can be seen from different perspectives throughout the race.
- The Castle of Good Hope – the oldest building in South Africa was built by Jan van Riebeeck and the Dutch East India Company and was completed in 1679.
- Groote Schuur Hospital – site of the world’s first human heart transplant.
- The University of Cape Town is South Africa’s oldest university.
- The Rondebosch Common, declared a National Monument in 1961, was used as a military encampment and in 1855 it became open for public use when the rector of St Paul’s Church was given permission to gaze his cows on the land.
- The globally respected Red Cross Children’s Hospital.
- The South African Astronomical Observatory, which grew from the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope, was founded in 1820.
- The Salt River Market is the oldest market in Cape Town, where traders sell fresh produce daily.
- The V&A Waterfront is South Africa’s most visited destination – the combination of shops, restaurants, nightspots, tourist attractions and museums in the city’s historic harbour attract millions of visitors annually. Harbour construction began in 1860, when Prince Alfred tipped the first stones for the breakwater.
- The Green Point Lighthouse is South Africa’s oldest dating back to 1824.
- The new Cape Town Stadium which hosted eight matches during the 2010 FIFA World Cup including the semi-final between the Netherlands and Uruguay.
- The Green Point Urban Park which hosts the finish to the race is a new multipurpose 10.5 hectare “people’s recreation park” and has a fitness park with cycling, outdoor training and gym facilities which are available to visitors.
If you would like to take part in the run visit www.wpa.org.za and submit your entry online – the pre-entry deadline for the 42.2km and 10km races has been extended to noon on Monday 19 September. Manual entries will be taken on Friday September 23 between 10h00 and 18h00 at the Tea House situated close to the South Gate of the Green Point Urban Park (mountain side).
Marathon and 10km runners can collect numbers and temporary licenses (if required) from the Tea House on Friday 23 September between 10h00 and 18h00 or on the Saturday between 09h00 and 17h00.
Participants in the 5km fun run and 5 x 4.2km relay, which take place on Saturday 24 September Heritage Day, can enter and collect their numbers and temporary licences (if required) at the Tea House on the Friday between 10h00 and 18h00 or on the Saturday between 09h00 and 13h45.
The prize money for the marathon winner is R25 000 followed by R15 000 for second and R12 500 for third place. In the 10km race the winner will receive R12 500 with the second runner winning R7 500 and third place R6 250.
The event is supported by the City of Cape Town, Cape Town Tourism, the Cape Town Partnership, Coca- Cola, Spur Restaurants and Second Skins.
To book accommodation for the Cape Town Marathon contact Cape Town Tourism on 021 487 6800 between 9am and 9pm.